The College Board has yet to release their 2015-2016 college cost averages, but working off last year's numbers, we are using the following for our planning for undergraduate costs. Starting at the top:
Tuition & Fees/Room & Board: $43,692
PUBLIC FOUR-YEAR (OUT-OF-STATE)
Tuition & Fees/Room & Board: $33,745
PUBLIC FOUR-YEAR (IN-STATE)
Tuition & Fees/Room & Board: $19,511
PUBLIC TWO-YEAR (IN-DISTRICT)
Tuition & Fees/Room & Board: $11,307
and because two-year students often live at home . . .
Tuition & Fees only: $3,447
ASSUMPTIONS & CAVEATS
- 2014-2015 averages (Source: College Board) adjusted for inflation
- Reflects published costs before financial aid
- Inflation assumptions:
- Tuition & fees: 3.0% (or roughly 2x projected one-year CPI-U)
- Room & board except two-year: 3.0%
- Two-year room & board: 2.0%
- These are national averages - your circumstances may vary greatly. The two-year numbers in particular are skewed heavily by California. Without California, tuition & fees are higher, but room & board is likely lower.
ITEMS OF NOTE
- Last year, the trend of cost increases of roughly 2x inflation continued.
- The big jump in tuition occurs at the state border, especially for prestigious state universities such as Michigan, Virginia, and the University of California system.